10/01/2005: Must get team to complete the business plan for 2005. I hope we don’t have the same problems we had last year which made it impossible to achieve our targets. I am so sick of the board’s unreasonable expectations. How were we to know that the new product line would not sell?

15/02/2005: Not a good management meeting today. The guys still don’t have the business plan completed and fifty percent of the performance appraisals for last year have not been completed. I’m at the end of my tether in getting them to do what is necessary on time.

28/03/2005: Finally got business plans completed and submitted to the board. Unfortunately, I had to let them know who was to blame for not getting them done on time. I think some of the guys will be lucky to keep their jobs.

24/04/2005: Internal audit were sticking their nose into my business today. Some of the guys will be in trouble for their sloppy practices. I don’t know how much longer I can protect them.

26/05/2005: I cannot believe those guys from internal audit! They had the temerity to suggest that I was accountable for the sloppy practices of the managers. I said to them, “How can I be accountable for something I did not do?” It’s unbelievable. If I did the work, I could understand, but I don’t do the work and therefore can’t be held accountable. I sent those audit guys off with their ears ringing from a blast they’ve never heard before.

30/06/2005: Great day today; I managed to get interviewed by the national newspapers and on TV. My exposure will be good for the organisation.

01/07/2005: It is unbelievable what those bloodsuckers in the press have done. They have twisted all my words and make me look like a fool. That’s the last time I will have anything to do with the press.

27/07/2005: Had to take some tough action today. The half year results were dramatically worse than expected. I wanted to know what marketing were going to do about it. All they could do was blame others. Well, I made a point of reiterating our values, honesty, transparency and taking responsibility for our actions. That quietened them down. I have decided to shift Tom, our marketing manager, on. He has not delivered. I’ll let him know on Friday that he has to clean his desk out. There is no room for sentiment in our business.

30/08/2005: My cousin’s wife started in the company today. I’m really pleased I could help her out and give something back to the community. She doesn’t have the experience required, but she will get it over time and besides, it’s family.

20/09/2005: Told the guys to lift their game today. I distinctly remember sending out the circular the day before yesterday about the change in management team reporting requirements. None of them came prepared. Had to remind them of some of our values again; commitment, open communication and implementation focus. Honestly, these guys never seem to read any correspondence. I couldn’t count the number of times that they have not read my circular in time. I think I will introduce a policy that all circulars must be read the day they are sent out.

13/10/2005: Saw a fantastic system today. The vendors say it will make all of our data available online in real time. With data availability like that, I will be able to make much better decisions. I will implement best practice. It will obviously chew up a lot of budget and resources but I think the risk is worth it. I’ll put it to the board.

18/10/2005: Some of the management team did not like my decision to invest in our new system. Some were complaining that the audit report suggested that our data was poor in terms of accuracy and timeliness so a new system would not solve anything. I had to remind them of our values of thoughtful risk taking, decisiveness and innovation.

27/11/2005: I can’t believe that the board wants to know where 2006 business plan is. They are always OK getting it in January or February. They did not accept the proposal for the new IT system. I had to tell the IT manager to sharpen up his analysis and remind him that it’s garbage in, garbage out.

05/12/2005: It looks like we will not reach this year’s targets. I had to get rid of the marketing manger during the year and the team below him could not cope. When his replacement arrived three months later, she did not turn out to be any world beater either. I bet the board wants to make me accountable for this too. Sometimes I wonder if they know how good a leader they have in me.